VLADAN MIJATOVIC ZIVOJNOV : MY AUTO-BIO NOTE
In 1980. in former Yugoslavia in a typical communist party control burlesque I was made to resign as editor of STUDENT – University of Belgrade weekly magazine that was recognized world-wide at the time for being outspoken about Yugoslav Communist Party – SKJ – tight control of culture, art, free flow of information and life in general. Soon after I started Independent Journalist Workshop (Samostalna Novinarska Radionica) in Yugoslav capital Belgrade’s world known SKC – a multimedia cultural outlet – featuring “live papers” with live interviews, live essays, “live photography” and “live political cartoons” performances. Last “live paper issue” on April 6. 1981. created spontaneous large public support on the main Knez Mihailova boulevard in Belgrade and SNOR was banned with major intervention from and by Serbian Communist Party Central Committee. Soon after I went to Nicaragua to report from Sandinista revolution reality. In Nicaragua I became a disappointed witness of Sandinista’s “revolutionary” management of what dictator Somosa left of that poor banana republic country. “History teaches nothing” was my disappointing discovery there. My Centro-American photo-journalistic work from Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador was distributed by France Press International and Vjesnik Press Agengy to 85 countries worldwide.
Upon return to Yugoslavia I did freelance work for major weekly magazines (Duga, Zum-Reporter and Start) and largest daily paper (Politika), to name a few. My first documentary book “Film i Idoli na Obali Zemlje” about two most popular new-wave bands at the time on summer tour was exclusively previewed in big media in a big way but at the end was not published due to censorship, again.
I left for USA in Fall of 1982. totally outraged that my book was censored and with clear experience that revolution and fundamental change for the better can happen only inside of self. Life in exile opened ancestry and heritage drive in my creative process. My work become more focused on photography and graphic design and less on writing … and I was inspired by spirituality, new technology, planet conservation, future of media and cultivation of open-minded even mind. My second book “Silikon Dharma” was published by Mladost, Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1991. Same publishing house that did not publish my first book in 1982 … and this second book of mine was a last title from that big publisher prior to country’s horrible disintegration during brutal civil wars of 1990ties.
In USA commercial art I was art director, photographer and graphic designer for major companies and publishing houses primarily in San Francisco Bay Area; like Macworld magazine, Publish magazine, International Data Group, Cutter Biological and Coherent Medical.
In fine art I was awarded with Award of Excellence from state of California (“Talk What You Think”- polaroid collage). My “Eagle” (color photograph assemblage) was exhibited in selection of San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art director Mr. Henry J. Hopkins, and print two of my “Eagle” was purchased with honor by Humboldt State University of California.
I had eleven one man shows and more than hundred group exhibits and shows of photography, digital imaging, slides and video projections accompanied by book readings and/or live music and dance.
English translation of my second book ”Silikon Dharma” was test published by Flaming Sword Press of Tucson, Arizona in 1997. and will be published again this year. My third book “Pogodak u Prazno” was published by Jugoistok, Belgrade, Serbia in 2003. English translation of it is ready for publishing as well.
I am also author of numerous photo-journalistic feature articles and weekly columns from travels across Europe, USA and Asia … and made interviews with the Dalai Lama, Allen Ginsberg , Abbie Hoffman, Truman Capote, Lourie Anderson and Andrew Weil among others.
With David Albahari one of most distinguished writers from Eastern Europe I collaborated on anthology of short stories “Poslasticarske price” (Candystore Stories) published by Arhipelag, Belgrade, Serbia in 2008.
“TIBETAN TRINITY: life death time” is my first documentary film trilogy made of material I filmed from one end of Himalayas in Sikkim to the other end of Himalayas in Ladakh. Film was shown in New York, San Francisco, LA, Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and in Graz, Austria, Zagreb, Croatia, Belgrade, Novi Sad and Bela Crkva in Serbia, and in Thessalonike, Greece; and was distributed world wide by Snow Lion/Shambala Publications.
With TIBETAN TRINITY documentary trilogy and related photographs I was part of five Sand Mandala for World Peace annual programs at University of Arizona in Tuscon; with different Lamas who are world-wide known creators of traditional Tibetan sacred sand paintings. I organized and hosted a historic first time visit of three Tibetan Lamas who did Mandala For World Peace in Belgrade, Serbia in June 2014.; and made my second documentary film “BEOGRADSKA MANDALA”(Belgrade mandala) as a story about this historic event of first Lamas and Tibetan mandala made in that part of the world.
JA SAM BUDEN: TRIP OF A LIFETIME is my fourth, and first book written in English that came out in November 2017. Book will be followed by a documentary film with same title currently in post production.
I created PARAMITA PRODUCTIONS in summer of 2000. with a goal to independently produce and distribute work inspired by wisdom and compassion, and share profits with specific organizations and people who do the same.